Heller, Ron (2)

CARDS: Score 1990, Fleer 1990
ACQUIRED: TTM 2023, C/o Home
SENT: 2/3 RECEIVED: 2/13 (10 days)

CAREER SNAPSHOT:

NOTES:

I’m sure there have been a few people who have complained about the lack of Eagles in my database so I decided to knock out Heller for that reason, along with the fact I still had a set need from Fleer 1990, as well as the fact I hadn’t gotten his autograph since… 1995- little less ever TTM.

Riley, Mike (2)

CARD: Topps AAF 2019 Certified
ACQUIRED: Private Acquisition, 2022
FAILURE: TTM C/o Home 2019, 2020

CAREER SNAPSHOT:

NOTES:

Picking up where we left off, Mike ended up back at Oregon State, where he became the school’s most winning coach. In 2014, he’d be pried off the Beavers by Nebraska. After a difficult tenure at Nebraska, Mike was welcomed back to Corvallis with open arms as an assistant coach.

When the Alliance of American Football was announced, I knew he’d be at the top of their list. I was excited to see Mike return to SA (from his days with the Riders of the WLAF) to coach the team. He was excited to take a walk down memory lane with me when I showed up with my Riders hat on at the Commanders unveiling. The team very much resembled the Riders, and finished 5-3 during the AAF’s season.

I had narrowly missed getting Mike’s autograph on his Topps AAF card during pregame warmups against the Salt Lake City Stallions. I had sideline passes and thought that he’d be a shoe-in to get later TTM. Oddly though, he’s dodged my TTM requests since then.

After the AAF folded, much to everyone’s dismay, Mike was hired on to be the offensive coordinator for the Seattle Dragons of the XFL in 2020- just because it wasn’t more local to Texas.

Recently it was brought to my attention that Mike and head coach Jim Zorn had a disagreement about who should be starting quarterback. The row was so bad between the two that Mike left the team for the first 3 games of the season.

He joined the new USFL as head coach of the New Jersey Generals, and led the team to a 9-1 record in 2022. The team zoomed out to a 2-1 record in 2023, before dropping their next 5, en route to a 3-7 record.

When the XFL and the USFL combined to form the new UFL, the Generals were not retained for 2024.

Harris, Ajene

Topps XFL 2020, #61

CARD: Topps XFL 2020
ACQUIRED: IP 2023, San Antonio Brahmas v Houston Roughnecks

CAREER SNAPSHOT:

  • Ajene Harris displayed solid versatility for USC, playing DB, PR, and WR during his time at the school.
  • Over his last 3 years for the Trojans, he posted 144 total tackles, and 6 picks.
  • After spending training camp with the Eagles, Ajene joined the Houston Roughnecks in 2020.
  • As part of a gambling, dangerous secondary, Ajene posted 20 tackles.
  • He’d play for the Pittsburgh Maulers of the USFL in 2022 and post a tackle before returning again to the XFL.
  • Like an old glove, Ajene returned to the Roughnecks for 2023.
  • Picked on relentlessly by QBs Harris posted pretty good numbers on the outside.
  • He had 5 interceptions (league leader) for 15 yards, and 31 total tackles.
  • After the XFL Roughnecks were dispersed, he was selected by the Arlington Renegades for the upcoming 2024 season.

NOTES:

Ajene came over and signed this lone card for me. He loved that I had the OG Roughnecks jersey on, and told me that I needed to get a jersey of him next. He and I talked briefly about 2020, when the Roughnecks went into Arlington and pummeled the Renegades at home. We had a good laugh as he signed the card, and I told him he almost gave me a heart attack by giving up a few big plays that led to the OT effort by the Brahmas that weekend.

Celebrating the game, the players, the cards, and the autographs for over 25 years.